arrived early morning from England September 10, 2009. Brimming
with pride, he gave some personal insights on his trip from the
Winmau Masters to the NDFP.
He came to be known as the “Dancing Filipino” with
his dancing antics on stage. Initially he was being announced
as the unknown dart player from Manila but as the tournament progressed
and the crowd began to take notice, the announcers began calling
him the “Dancing Filipino”.
His feat did not come unnoticed as people came for autographs
and personal congratulations while eating in McDonalds. Being
widely seen on the televised matches he played, he became a recognizable
celebrity as an underdog who beat the odds. Ilagan won £3,000
for reaching the top 4 of the Winmau Masters.
In his England interviews, while inviting the international darters
to the 5 Million Manny Pacquiao International Darts Classic this
November, someone commented that as Manny Pacquiao beat Englishman,
Ricky Hatton, another Filipino again beat the Englishmen but this
time on their own turf and on their own game.
His ascendancy to the quarter-finals came under protest as Waites,
whom he beat in the round of 16, protested his qualification to
play in the Winmau Masters having played in the World Darts Championship
of the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) last December. The
protest went up to the President of the British Dart Organization
(BDO) who subsequently overturned the protest as he did not sign
as a PDC player. The BDO and the PDC has been in conflict since
the early 90”s and it has heated up again in the last few
Ilagan won the NDFP Philippine Qualifier to the World Darts Championship
to represent the Philippines as the wild card player in the World
Darts Championship last December. Ilagan confided that the experience
he gained playing in England last December tremendously helped
him overcome the pressure and the anxiety playing in front of
the huge crowd of the premier darting country in the world.
With the milestone of being the top Asian and only Filipino to
reach the top 4 of a world championship, major dart distributors
Harrows and Winmau invited him to be their signature player, but
being in contract and a signature player of Monster Barrel and
Design, he declined.
Ilagan will next see action in the 100K 1st Deloso Cup and his
participation will be highly anticipated as the rising Philippine
dart hero. Ilagan encourages more darters to continue practicing
and hopefully bring more honors to Philippine darts. And his parting
words were “maraming pang magagaling na Darterong Pinoy
na lalabas sa maraming tuloy-tuloy na malalaking tournaments ng
NDFP sa Pilipinas, umpisa pa lang ito.”